Fabric is the bare-bones that can make or break any garment. Designers and product development teams go on legendary hunts to procure materials that can translate the season’s concepts well into reality.
For Spring 2019, the trends focus on a sanguine fluidity. The consumer wants products that appear feathery light and enticing to touch. However, this does not mean that s/he is willing to sacrifice on quality.
Rather the move is towards materials that last longer, perform better and have a sense of natural protection embedded in them. As the conversation around sustainability gets louder each year, the product teams will have to devise ways of hybridising all the options available to them like regenerated, ethically produced, natural or man-made synthetics, to get the best results.
Going forward, designers are moving towards clothing that is transitional, can be worn across seasons. Gender-specificity has already been discarded by some of the big names in the luxury industry. While this may not be a trend for mass market yet, it is surely going to define the way people perceive clothing.
Brands and retailers have to cater to a wide range of demands as always and thus, crossbreed mishmash is a key theme. Adding a little adventure to city life, nature to synthetics or just a little glamour to day-to-day clothing for a ‘jack of all trades’ approach is non-negotiable.
From the more basic sports-loving performance wear, to how textile designers are reinventing minimalism, here are some of the most directional trends for fabrics and materials for Spring/Summer 2019.
It is no news to anyone that value addition has gone down in the last couple of years. Trends fixate more on basics, and similarly Spring 2019 is a season of visual simplicity that is still rich on a closer look. The focus is moving towards suave suppleness and quality, wherein the idea is to bring back the archives and add a modern twist.
Isha Jain, Senior Designer, ITX Services agrees with the theme, adding, “Fashion has become much cleaner. You will not see a lot of embroideries; it is more about the crepe, textures and heavy jacquards that you usually see in upholstery. We are also into very fine Turkish and Moroccan fabrics that are doing well. Even the styling has changed to make silhouettes cleaner so that the fabric is in focus. Details like draped neckline, contrast pipelines or neckties are what we are focusing on…”
Everyday fabrics in tonal earthy shades with subtle slub or nepping to attain a bucolic textured noise quality will be the go-to way to achieve a hand-woven feel. According to Ariane Bigot, Deputy Fashion Director of Premiere Vision Paris, “It is a season of noble plains and sophisticated mélanges, and density is a gauge of luxury.”
Surfaces with effects like dobby stitch for a folksy appeal, hazy powder-like to touch as well as dynamic patterns that channel a crafty mood, together finish this hybrid neo-vintage story.
Opaque silks with the roundness of organza, seersuckers with more discreet textures, linen-like macro weaves and ultra-dense synthetics are some of the fabric styles that round off this trend.
With all the digitisation of happening in every direction, this theme is a no-brainer. Our innate urge to touch, feel and connect with shiny surfaces personifies as fluid fabrics and silk mirrors become a central feature of fashion collections.
Menka Jha, Divisional Merchandising Manager of Alliance Merchandising agrees fully with the fluid-first fashion movement adding, “Viscose is the fabric that will dominate the next year. Easy-going silhouettes that are a complete opposite of the body-conscious movement we were witnessing in the last decade, will drive the trend for fluid fabrics. Even if you do basic cotton, it has to be something that looks extremely fluid. Since value addition is totally out, all you can really do anymore is work with really good fabrics to add value.”
Textile finishes that give the impression of being fragile, play upon milky limpidity, delicate halos like subtly washed Cupro, or Lyocell, will help designers in creating garments which look like a second skin. Textured lightweight sheers and luxurious silky fabrics will define not just the resort or eveningwear wardrobe but also women’s ready-to-wear lines.
Slight textures for summer layering in mid-weight jersey, brightened chambray, tulle, silk and viscose blends with tone-on-tone structure can create powerful subdued effects.
In addition, an interesting trend is of delicate crystallised or clear plastic that looks wet and somewhat like a jelly. This is an upgrade on last season’s shine and sparkles, which themselves have seeped into the 2019 forecast as well.
GET OUT & PLAY
The entire industry’s favourite trend of the moment, and perhaps the driver of significant growth in the coming years are performance-oriented fabrics. As the experience economy gains traction, mainstream retail might not gain from this, yet it bears tremendous news for the sports industry.
People will continue favouring outdoor activities and experiences over buying the latest trendy product in the market. Hence, even as comfort remains a key feature, the trend will explore more colour and texture variations. As this segment becomes more of a norm, athleisure will now be redefined as simply ‘living wear’.
Multi-functional materials like FIR and NIR yarns for enhanced well-being, spandex/elastane for stretch and recovery as well as fabrics with cool touch, moisture management, UV protection will gain steam over the year.
High stretch jacquards whether compact or textured, closed or open will help in jazzing up basic sport fabrics. Stretchy metallic and luminous coatings and high compression warp knits coupled with decorative open/lazer cutting will be the choice for more glamour-fixated athleisure.